NORFOLK, VA (WTKR)- College basketball season tips off this week with area teams primed for success. Conference titles and trips to the NCAA Tournament are in play for several teams of interest to our viewing area.
The Norfolk State men are coming off a MEAC title and a berth in the Big Dance a season ago. Eight players who saw minutes last year return for the Spartans, led by Joe Bryant Jr. and Jalen Hawkins. NSU opens its season on Tuesday night hosting Bridgewater. There will be a championship ring and banner ceremony prior to tip-off, which is scheduled for approximately 8:00 PM.
Hampton opens its season on Tuesday night hosting Mid-Atlantic Christian, with the Pirates looking to prove some people wrong. Edward Joyner's group was picked to finish fifth in the Big South North Division. Russell "Deuce" Dean earned second team preseason All-Conference honors for Hampton. Tuesday's tip-off is set for 7:00.
No. 25 Virginia begins its campaign on Tuesday as well, welcoming Navy to John Paul Jones Arena. UVA was picked to finish fourth in the ACC, with Kihei Clark earning preseason All-Conference second team accolades. The Cavaliers were bounced from last year's NCAA Tournament in the first round. Virginia and the Midshipmen open up at 9:00 PM.
Virginia Tech was picked right behind the Wahoos in the ACC Preseason Poll, predicted fifth in the league, and will open up its schedule on Tuesday at home against Maine. Preseason conference first-teamer Keve Aluma leads the Hokies into the 2021-2022 campaign. Mike Young and company is another group ousted early from the NCAA Tournament back in March and looking to make a statement. Tip-off is set for 8:00 PM at Cassell Coliseum.
Old Dominion will wait until Wednesday to get going. The Monarchs begin their slate with Virginia Wesleyan. Jeff Jones's squad was picked to finish fifth in Conference USA. Wednesday night's tip-off at Chartway Arena is slated for 7:00 PM.